Australia’s threatened species are emerging from the devastation of the worst bushfires on record with a message of hope on National Threatened Species Day.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Morrison Government’s $200 million bushfire recovery fund for native wildlife and habitat, Australia’s most concentrated threatened species recovery effort on record, was helping to deliver important strategies in threatened species recovery.
“The terrible toll of the fires on all Australians and on our native species remains heartbreaking,” Minister Ley said.
“But, from mountain frogs, to tiny pygmy possums, river turtles, glossy black cockatoos and rare native plants, we are being reminded of the incredible resilience of our native plants and animals.
“Not for a second should we underestimate the incredible threats native species face from climate change and habitat loss, here and across the globe, but it is equally important to recognise that we can and are making a difference.
“Indigenous Rangers capturing a fleeting image of the once ‘extinct’ night parrot, or bettongs and quolls being reintroduced to mainland areas for the first time in a century, not only provide hope but inspire people to contribute.”
The Morrison Government is continuing a $560 million Commonwealth investment in threatened species protection programs.
Landcare and other programs have seen:
• Wild populations of Orange-bellied Parrots increase from just 23 to more than 190 in a few short years.
• Species such as Pugh’s Mountain frogs feared wiped out by the loss of 85% of their habitat in the Black Summer are now being sighted at numerous locations and captively bred.
• More than 67 per cent of Australia’s known threatened plant species have now been conserved in seed banks, positioning Australia as a world leader in conservation seed banking.
• Work with Traditional owners is seeing Greater Bilby populations steadily increasing in a number important areas.
• Numbat populations are increasing thanks to reductions in fox and cat populations, with the Western Quoll (or Chuditch) also increasing.
• In 2020, the first Norfolk Island Boobook Owl chicks in more than a decade survived to become fledglings as a result of nest protection, feral cat control and habitat improvement.
• In 2019, Healthy Land and Water discovered 350 juvenile Ormeau Bottle Trees, more than doubling the known population.
• Lining the nests of Forty-Spotted Pardalotes with fumigated chicken feathers is helping 95 per cent of hatchlings survive a bloodsucking parasitic fly, when compared to only 8 per cent in untreated nests.
• More than 1.3 million sea turtle hatchlings have been protected from predators including feral pigs, foxes and dogs across 500 km of coastline under the Nest to Ocean turtle program.
“There are many stories to tell and each reminds us of the work that is still to be done,” Minister Ley said.
“But on Threatened Species day, it is important that people see the hope that is there and look for how they can play a role.
“It can be as simple as the plants you surround yourself with, volunteering for a local land care group or responsible managing your pets.
“We are finalising the first of two five year action plans under the Threatened Species Strategy, and are committed to working with states and territories to protect our precious threatened species and Australia’s environment.
Australia’s new 10-year strategy builds on the momentum of the first strategy launched in 2015, setting a clear vision to drive practical on-ground action and identify key action areas. To find out more about the Threatened Species Strategy visit: https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/str…